Thursday, January 16, 2014

Training Camp

Things that I love about training camp

One of my favorite times each year is when the CSU Triathlon Team makes its annual pilgrimage to training camp in Tucson, AZ.  This year, 18 members of our team took part in a camp organized by the University of Arizona TRICATS.  We rented a large vacation home and did triathlon stuff for a couple of days straight.  

Some pictures of the house we rented.  Only a couple of the freshman had to sleep on the floor.

Big screen TV with Bose surround sound!

Nice kitchen where we made our food for the week.

Pool and hot tub with an awesome view!

Huge garage with plenty of space for all our bikes
Sun/warm weather
 Things were starting to get crazy after going from about two weeks in Minnesota with temps at or below 0 to lots of snow in Colorado.  The hours of training are definitely made easier with the company of others and beautiful weather. 

Cooking dinner
Eating dinner together as a team was really fun.  We split up into groups and each night a different group was in charge of cooking.  We ate really well.  The meals included vegetable stir-fry, chicken, veggie kabobs, sweet potatoes, taco bar, and make your own pizzas.  We also went to bed super early because we were exhausted.  8:30 - 9 was fairly common.

Some of the veggie kabobs we made

Team bonding
Even though the majority of the day we are out and about training, I was able to get to know the people at training camp much better.  When we were relaxing together as a team we played games, watched movies, and talked about anything and everything.  Part of the team bonding comes from the two 14 hour drives traveling to and from Fort Collins.  This year, I had a minivan to help minimize the cars on the road trip.

The mini van worked out awesome for hauling bikes to workouts when we didn't want to bring the whole trailer

Meeting people from other teams
There were supposedly around 80 athletes that participated in the camp this year.  It was great getting to know a lot of them.  I look forward to recognizing them at upcoming races.

The workouts
The main reason we go to Tucson is for the workouts.  This time of year, our focus is on developing a good base that we will be able to build on for the upcoming season.  The workouts tend to have a longer duration and less intensity.  It is a week were you are supposed to wear your body out.  I enjoy these longer workouts and believe that building a good base is essential to preventing injury and burnout.  

Our swims were outside in the U of A rec center pool
The camp had two organized rides, one of which was up Mount Lemmon.  The long, steady climb was a highlight for many.

All the schools prepared for Mount Lemmon

The large group quickly split up into large packs which gradually shrunk.
Yes I wore a Go Pro...working on a video

A smaller group

At the top of Mount Lemmon
JT, Zack, and myself at the ski area on top of Mount Lemmon

Another group of CSU team members at the Cookie Cabin

 On our team's "flex" day before the official camp began, CSU did a trail run on our own near the rental house.  We quickly learned that cacti are not very forgiving.  Between workouts, I spent the rest of the day trying to dig a needle out of my shin.
The camp had an organized run one morning.  We did a short run on some trails and then made our way to a hill climb.

Lots of the workouts concluded with people circling around a car full of food
Sun burn lines
On our team's last "flex" day, a couple of us tried to ride to the Mexican border and failed.  We got 100 miles in but took no pictures because it was pretty boring.  I guess that's what happens when you plan the morning of a ride.  One result was some sunburn lines from my helmet and shorts.

Start at sunrise, finish at sunset
There were a couple days during training camp that we left our house at sunrise and returned just as the sun was setting.  For example, one day of the organized camp consisted of a morning ride and an afternoon swim.  Some of us wanted to ride to the group ride to get more miles in.  This required us to pack our swim stuff ahead of time to send with the group that was driving.  We also needed to pack food for during and after the workouts. Basically we end up working out the entire day if you include getting ourselves from one workout to the next.  These epic training days brought back memories of days at past training camps with JT and Bailey.
The team down in Tucson in front of our beautiful new trailer
I will admit, sometimes I count swimming as a shower. And sometimes, I won't shower if I know I have another workout in a couple hours.  Training camp is a time when I am much more likely to skip similar practices.

Go Pro review
I carried around a Go Pro for a lot of our workouts.  A couple of nights around dinner time, our team would review the day by looking at the footage.  I definitely learned my lesson about how certain angles look cool and others...not so much.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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